Interview with the artist: Marco About

Marco Bevivino is a Roman artist expert in music, pizza and supplì. The ‘arty’ name Marco About comes from his old music band, the Think about. He does not like to be defined as an artist, at all.

His creative journey starts with hand-made music posters, bouncing around freelancing jobs; a too long experience as a graphic; to end up in a silkscreen laboratory  – where he seems to be finally settled. Meantime, before jumping into interactive urban projects and festivals, Marco used also to present his illustrations in different art exhibitions, until he decided to leave the ‘arty-world’ forever – excluding some rare exceptions.

 

During this unconventional journey of exploration, Marco plays with traditional and digital medium without ever losing is humoristic and direct style. Despite his disillusion of our times, the artist plays with animals and weirdos to interact with the audience making jokes on our contradictory society. Here an interview with Marco about his work and his thoughts on the potential of art to interact with people.

1 – How did you start between illustration and music?

When I was about 16, I began playing in a punk hardcore band. At the time, the posters of the events were completely hand-made. Where I use to hang out, talented guys usually created posters for their own music shows, with scissors and newspaper clippings.

I have been always drawing, but only for myself; I just did some graphics work for the shops around my area. As soon as I had the chance to make a poster for my own band, I immediately rebound to try out possible combinations of images and words. Supposedly, someone thought that I was not that bad after all, and slowly I got commissions for concerts, festival and different kind of events.

2 – From graphic to silkscreen to pen and pencil. What is your favourite medium?

Surely, my favourites are pencil and pen on paper because of their immediacy; it is where everything starts. Years ago, silkscreen captured me, and I hand-printed a lot of posters. When sometimes I still need to print something, I usually go to the lab where I use to work as a graphic.

The graphic, unfortunately, it is a boring work that I always try to avoid.

3 – You often portray animals humanising their emotion and behaviour. How do you see the relationship between animals and us?

Animals are the true inhabitants of the planets, while we are dirty and disrespectful hosts slowly leading the world to the collapse. Actually, animals’ emotions are a way more beautiful and pure than human’s one. Not fully understanding them, however, in my drawings, I tent to attribute to them our behaviours… and they don’t really deserve it!

4 – Working as graphic and musician, you are often in direct contact with your public and your work has a strong visual impact. Does the art need to be communicative for you?

Thanks for the ‘musicians’! Actually, I don’t play very well and I am singing even worse in a hilarious punk-rock band.

But yea, I believe that art is here to communicate, to tell you: ‘hey you, something is happening here, can you see?’

This message should arrive to all, and for this reason, I think that we need a language and images clear to anyone. In the end, the scope is to communicate, even if it is difficult sometimes.

5 – You are also part of the artistic collective M.U.Ro to renovate forgotten areas of Rome with Wall Painting.  How would you describe the potential of these artistic interventions in the city, particularly in the social context of Rome?

I collaborated with M.U.Ro a few years ago. The Roman artist Diavù initiated the project to renovate some of Rome’s areas. I did an intervention painting some little animals in a park of Quadraro and some others in a pre-school.

Among M.U.Ro, Rome is full of realities working on the requalification of the city through art, but my experience with Wall Painting ended at the time.

I am sure that these are projects full of potential. Today, a few years later, my position about is slightly changed.

I believe that a huge monster of cement is not going to change with colours on it. Actually, the risk is to give more attention to something ugly and bad located compare to the landscape.

In this sense, sometimes, maybe we should be more careful in choosing where and how to paint.

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